The challenges (fitnahs) of the Ummah

From the pen of Shaykh Binnory (rahimahullah)

 ‘Allamah Binnory (rahimahullah) wrote a comprehensive article that highlights the various fitnahs that the Ummah faces, especially when engaging in acts of good. This article is a great source of guidance for one and all; the learned, the preacher, the charitable, and every Muslim in general. In addition to the problem, ‘Allamah Binnory also sheds light on the causes and remedies. Hereunder is a summarised version of Shaykh’s article:

Among the many fitnahs that the Ummah is facing currently are the following:

  1. The Fitnah of Expediency. Whatever service is rendered for Din, the primary motive seems to be the worldly benefits in it. The foundation of this fitnah is hypocrisy, which results in the deed being bereft of blessing.

 

  1. The Fitnah of Keeping Everyone Happy. Whatever is said or done is done with the intention of merely pleasing people, and that nobody should get angry. The basis of this fitnah is the love for fame.

 

  1. Being Stubborn on one’s Opinion. To deem one’s opinion to be correct and definite and not considering other’s opinions to be worth noticing or being worthy of consideration. Just being convinced that my stance is definitely right and the opinions of others are definitely wrong. This is the fitnah of being enamoured with one’s own opinion. No group is ready to listen to the side of another group. Neither do they afford them any benefit of doubt; that it’s possible for the opponent’s opinion to be correct to a certain extent.

 

  1. The Fitnah of Evil Thoughts. When an individual or group feels that all the members of my faction are sincere and have good intentions, while other opposing factions are conceited and have incorrect intentions. The basis of this fitnah is self-admiration and pride.

 

  1. The Fitnah of Misunderstanding. When a person listens to the speech of his opponent then, purely because he disagrees with him, he does not only express hatred for him, rather he deems it necessary to refute him in a disrespectful way. If the point of the opponent has many possible explanations he will still only choose that explanation which results in humiliating the opponent. Have the following Quranic Ayah and Hadith become abrogated?!

 ان بعض الظن اثم

Definitely some assumptions are a sin. (Suratul Hujurat, verse: 12)

 

اياكم والظن فان الظن اكذب الحديث  

Beware of suspicion because suspicion is the worst lie

 

  1. The Fitnah of Slandering. To degrade and disgrace opponents, while also attributing outrageous statements to them without proof. If someone says anything evil about the opponent, one is easily convinced about it without verifying, and one further takes enjoyment in spreading these rumours.

 ان جاءكم فاسق بنبإ فتبينوا

If a sinner brings you any news, then verify it. (Suratul Hujurat, verse: 6)

 

  1. The Fitnah of Having the Desire to retaliate. In a situation where one has enmity, hatred or evil thoughts towards another person, he initially remains silent. However, as soon as he gets an opportunity and as soon as he plucks up the courage, then there is no question about remaining silent. It is as if the initial silence was not because of forgiving and overlooking, rather it was due to being miserable, weak and powerless. When he acquires a position of power, he starts retaliating. Mercy, kindness, forgiveness and overlooking all become extinct in such cases.

 

  1. The Fitnah of Love for Fame. If any service towards Islam [and the Muslims] is offered, the desire is only that one gets more praise and applause. In reality, this is created through the deficiency or absence of sincerity and through the desire of ostentation and vanity. This sickness has developed in the good servants of Islam too. This -in reality- is hidden shirk. In the court of Allah Ta’ala the weight of any service to Din and Islam is increased through sincerity and this is the gauge of acceptance of all actions by Allah Ta’ala. The desire for lecturing is continuing to increase whilst practice is at level zero.

Allah Ta’ala says:

لم تقولون ما لا تفعلون  كبر مقتا عند الله ان تقولوا ما لا تفعلون

Why do you say that which you do not do. It is despicable in the sight of Allah Ta’ala that you say that which you do not do. (Suratus Saff, verses: 2-3)

 

The speaker speaks in such a manner as though the pain of the entire mankind is in his heart, but in relation to practical life his level is zero.

 

  1. The Fitnah of Propaganda. The plague of propaganda and disunity has spread in such a manner that there is no character nor intelligence or justice left. This is actually an imitation of the irreligious etiquette. Newspapers, radio, [social media] etc. are all used to spread such propaganda.

 

The calamity of disunity, confusion and grouping stem from this, which leads to an individual only agreeing and being supportive of one’s own group, no matter how incorrect they may be. Such people consider disagreeing and refuting everything of the opposing group as their most important obligation. Only one’s own supporters are considered as true Muslims even if they perpetrate the worst of sins, while even the fasting and Salah of the opposite party is mocked at!

  1. The Fitnah of the Love of Worldly Wealth. It appears in the Hadith:

حب الدنيا رأس كل خطيئة

The love of the world is the root of all sins.

In reality, the common factor of all fitnahs is love for fame and love of wealth. Undoubtedly, one cannot avoid worldly engagements while seeking one’s necessities. There is no objection to that. Furthermore, the natural inclination towards wealth and luxury is also not objectionable. However, the love of the world or wealth should not be to the extent that all the responsibilities of Islam are disregarded. There is a need for moderation.

The details of this fitnah will require a lengthy article. I will conclude this brief discussion with a du’a of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam):

O Allah, grant me love for you and love for those who love you, and love for those actions which will bring me close to you!

O Allah, whatever you have granted me that I love, make it a means of strength for me for doing those things that you love, and what you averted from me from what I love, make it a means of freeing myself for doing those things that you love.

O Allah, make my love for you the most beloved thing to me, even more beloved than myself!

اللَّهُمَّ ارْزُقْنِي حُبَّكَ وَحُبَّ مَنْ يَنْفَعُنِي حُبُّهُ عِنْدَكَ، اللَّهُمَّ مَا رَزَقْتَنِي مِمَّا أُحِبُّ فَاجْعَلْهُ قُوَّةً لِي فِيمَا تُحِبُّ، اللَّهُمَّ وَمَا زَوَيْتَ عَنِّي مِمَّا أُحِبُّ فَاجْعَلْهُ فَرَاغًا لِي فِيمَا تُحِبُّ

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